Fashion gets fat

Those who predicted the death of fashion mags should have waited for the
flurry of fat September issues hitting newsstands now, writes fashion
reporter Derick Chetty in an article for the Toronto Star.

“So much has been written about the death of fashion magazines that you would have expected to see wafer-thin September issues propped up in news racks.

“But the all-important editions, which attract a blockbuster amount of advertising, landed on newsstands last week with a thud, bursting with all the fashion news that’s fit to print.”

He notes that while the mags aren’t as robust as they were before the recession (including the September 2007 Vogue, which, at over 900 pages, garnered its own documentary.)

Chetty writes: “In the aftermath, fashion blogs and style websites sprouted like weeds, and suddenly, readers had a voracious appetite for the unseasoned, provocative and amusing new voices.”

But he notes that those blogs have yet to win the hearts of advertisers, despite the fact fashion houses compete for blogger attention with free products and behind-the-scenes access.

“The queen bee of the glossy world, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, said in a recent interview, “Like any evolution in the industry, they force you to become better at what you do. Vogue’s in-depth articles and beautiful fashion stories, along with coverage of the arts with a fashion context is not something that exists in the same way on blogs. They force us to dig deeper for stories but we’re not competitors.”

Even so, fashion magazines are taking risks, he says, nothing that some of the top American mags feature women over 40 (“Vogue had Halle Berry, 44; Harper’s Bazaar had Jennifer Aniston, 41; and Elle featured Julia Roberts, 42.”) Italian Vogue sparked controversy with their photo spread of models, looking like a lot like thin, starving birds, rolling around in an oil spill.